Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote Essay

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Before it does, though, an ironic flourish of a different sort is cleverly drawn. "It is well known," says our bombastic narrator,

that Don Quixote. . . decided the debate [on arms and
letters] against arms and in favor of letters. Cervantes
was a former soldier: his verdict is understandable.
But that Pierre Menard's Don Quixote—a contemporary
of La Trahison des clercs and Bertrand Russell—
should fall prey to such nebulous sophistries!




But the nebulous sophistries are in the passage itself, not the Quixote —or even any Quixote, including, arguendo, the one written by Menard. If Don Quixote decided the debate in favor of arms, it certainly doesn't follow that Cervantes did, though the narrator asserts as much without argument. Considered per se, inferences from what a fictional character says to what the author of the fiction believes, are notoriously shaky and unreliable. More importantly, the inference the...

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This section contains 856 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote Study Guide
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